Pros & Cons Of Copper Farmhouse Sinks

Ryan M. Grambart
Founder & CEO - CopperSmith
Ryan M. Grambart

beautiful copper farmhouse sinks

A beautiful sink can dress up any kitchen or bathroom and elevate the sophistication and style of the space. When it comes to choosing a sink, many homeowners opt for copper apron sinks, as they have great aesthetic and investment value and can transform any space. Copper sinks add elegance and style to any kitchen or bathroom, whether the house is a modern masterpiece or has a rustic farmhouse charm. They are also proven to improve home buyer perception and increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell. CopperSmith has outlined the pros and cons of copper sinks so that you can make the right purchasing decision for you and your home.

Is a copper farmhouse sink a good idea?

Attractive. Farmhouse sinks are celebrated for their ability to add style and elegance to any space, whether it is traditional or modern. The warmth and appearance of copper sinks such as this copper apron front sink make them more attractive options than both porcelain and steel. Design experts believe that the warmth of the material and patina finish facilitates feelings of comfort, and the smooth reflective qualities serve to bounce light throughout the room, adding elegance to any space. The warm undertones are particularly welcoming in primarily white spaces, and adds to the feeling of the space as a home. No matter what the theme of your home is, copper sinks will make the space more attractive.

If you have a traditional or country style kitchen, a more dull copper will add to the character of the space beautifully. If your kitchen is modern and primarily white, a smooth and polished copper will reflect light throughout the room and add warmth to the neutral space. If you have exposed brick or black cabinets in the space, a polished copper will also add to the charm of the space.

Copper sinks and mixed metals were a top trend of 2019, and the phenomenon is expected to continue. Searches on real estate websites for “rustic” and “farmhouse sink” were high last year, and a home having a copper farmhouse sink definitely provides an aesthetic benefit that increases the value of your home.

How do you clean a copper sink?

cleaning a copper sink guide

A copper sink has a “living finish”, which means that the color and undertones of your sink will shift over time; this is perfectly normal and will continue to add to the value of your space! The patina on your copper sink may naturally darken over time with heavy use of the sink, and this is perfectly normal, as the patina darkens to protect the copper from the elements. Maintenance of your copper farmhouse sink will not be too difficult. Odds are, you already have the simple cleaning supplies you’ll need at home! When you are cleaning your sink regularly, you will want to use soap, warm water, and a cloth. A gentle scrub will do, and you will want to make sure that you aren’t using any harsh chemicals or rubbing too hard. A sponge or scrubber will do more harm than good and can scratch your sink, so stick to a gentle warm cloth.

copper sinks are easy to maintain

As a day to day maintenance routine, you will want to avoid leaving dirty dishes and food sitting in the sink, as specific foods (predominantly acidic foods) have properties that can damage the natural sheen of the copper (this is important for overall home health, anyways). You can also avoid leaving cosmetics or toothpaste sitting in the sink for too long to protect the patina. Overall, maintaining a copper farmhouse sink is quite easy with just a little caution. Practicing proper food sanitation and tending to dirty dishes contributes to an overall healthier living space, and a quick wash with warm soap and water can easily be implemented into your household cleaning routine. Additionally, we will next discuss the antibacterial properties of copper that help the sink cleanse itself from bacteria on its own.

why buy a farmhouse sink

Are copper sinks antimicrobial?

are copper sinks antibacterial? A huge advantage of a copper farmhouse sink is the natural antibacterial properties of copper. The EPA has confirmed that copper is the first solid metal to possess antimicrobial properties effective in killing harmful bacteria living on touch surfaces. It is believed that the presence of copper in microbial cells is what eliminates the bacteria, as well as that the copper causes oxidation. Copper is able to kill many germs right upon contact, and with constant contact is able to kill nearly all harmful bacteria within a 2-4 window.

This not only makes copper the best choice for investing in sinkware in your own home but also has led to research as to how copper sinks can be utilized in hospitals, group living homes, and other healthcare facilities. Copper can help stop the spread of infections such as the flu in households and will also stop cross-contamination of any bacteria that could be present in foods. Aside from the health benefits, copper’s ability to kill bacteria ensures that your kitchen will not have any film or odor coming from the sink. Oftentimes, small particles of leftover foods can lead to foul musty smells coming from a kitchen sink, so choosing a copper appliance solves this problem.

Do copper sinks tarnish?

copper sinks staining

While it is in your sink’s best interest to avoid leaving acidic foods, cleaning products, or cosmetics in the sink, copper shows great resilience to staining and can be fixed quite easily if it does happen. If it does stain, you can just clean the sink with soap, water, and a warm cloth to ease the stain away. Olive oil can also be used to buff out stains easily. It’s important to avoid harsh sponges or chemicals during this process. There are also sealants that you can look into to further protect the material if the sink has reached a patina that you would like to keep. Many choose to use beeswax or copper wax to slow down the color development in their copper sinks. As long as you do not leave food or dishes overnight in the sink, are gentle when washing the material, and consider a wax polish to preserve the material, you are in good shape! Your copper sink will remain in great condition and shine stain free!

What is the perfect sized kitchen sink?

Farmhouse copper sinks are eye catchers partly because of their size. Statement sinks serve an aesthetic purpose as well as a practical one. For instance, the big size of this double farmhouse sink provides the homeowner with more than enough space to carry out kitchen tasks more efficiently. Particularly if you have a large family or enjoy crafting elaborate meals, a double farmhouse sink gives you a larger workspace. The double sink first became popular as a dishwashing method; soapy water would go on one side while clean water for rinsing would go on the other. With the growing popularity of dishwashers, this began to shift a little.

The size of the farmer’s sink has many benefits including convenience for washing dishes by hand, separation of dishes from food prep, and a more easily accessible garbage disposal. From a convenience standpoint, especially if you have a large family, the larger sink will ensure that dishes never pile up on the counter. Aside from these practical purposes, the bigger sink serves as an eye catching centerpiece of any kitchen that will add value, character, and reflect light throughout the space. Check out these 5 great copper sinks. 

Pro Tip - Go with a large 36"+ kitchen sink, and make it a workstation.

Are Farmhouse Kitchen Sinks more ergonomic?

big copper sinksA hallmark characteristic of an apron farmhouse sink is its exposed front facing side. Farmhouse sinks were first designed to fit easily into an existing kitchen counter. Aside from the aesthetic benefits of the sink, there are many practical uses that make these sinks the best choice, particularly for large families. Apron sinks tend to be larger, making them helpful for large families who will have many plates and dishes. The sinks have an interesting history, as the front facing design was originally constructed to ease the comfort of chefs who were spending long days at the sink, as the design allows for one to cook and clean without having to bend over for long periods of time and strain the back.

The “forward orientation” of the design eliminates the need to remain leaning forward when cleaning, as assuming this position daily for a long period of time strains the lower back, shoulders, and neck. Another benefit of this flat facing design is that any water that drips from the sink will fall straight down onto the floor rather than damaging the rest of your cabinets. A final benefit of the exposed front facing design is that it makes the sink able to be replaced quite easily without disrupting the rest of the kitchen. It can be installed and removed quite easily without having to take apart the entirety of your kitchen.

Are Copper Sinks Durable?

are copper sinks durableCopper sinks are highly durable and long lasting when they are cared for properly. Copper sinks are made with a heavier material than stainless steel sinks are, making them more durable. Porcelain sinks are also much more fragile. The durability of the sinks also helps them maintain their value over time; there is a market for antique copper sinks because they develop a distinct look as the patina ages. This proves that the sinks can last in the long haul and will not decrease in value, as buyers may even seek out the vintage or antique look.

Copper sinks are also more durable when they are thicker; while this can sometimes bring a higher initial investment, it makes sure that the material cannot be damaged or dented by heavy pots and pans banging around. When a thick gauge copper material is used, it will take a lot to create even a small dent in the copper. The durability of the material also lends itself to fewer repairs, which will end up saving you money in the end.

Pro Tip - Go with a 14 gauge copper sink

Is a farmhouse sink worth it?

copper farmhouse sinks resell value

Increased home value. Investment in the kitchen and bathrooms is an essential part of modeling your home to have a great resale value. According to Market Watch, “farmhouse sinks and details can help add 30% to your home’s asking price”. Rustic details are more popular than ever in home design, and these craftsmen inspired features can help home owners earn more when reselling their home. Copper sinks serve a particular benefit here because they can be integrated beautifully in both modern and traditional homes. This means that they also suit a wide variety of tastes. While copper sinks can have strong initial costs, these costs will pay off in the long run as the beautiful sink will increase the value of your home. Many home buyers will also find added value in the home if the copper sink gives an antique feel or rustic charm to the space, as “craftsman”, “farmhouse sink” and “exposed brick” are top value and traffic adders on real estate websites.

color variations of copper

What is the best kitchen sink style?

best kitchen sink style

Unlike traditional porcelain sinks, there are many styles of copper sinks that you can choose from. This allows you to experience all of the benefits of a copper sink while achieving your desired style and feel of the space. For kitchen sinks, there are standard undermount or drop in mounts in addition to farmhouse styles. Copper sinks are often in the farmhouse front sink style, as this style looks beautiful in any space, whether it’s a modern kitchen or a rustic farmhouse.

This style is also quite efficient, as it has comfort as well as cleaning benefits. For bathroom copper sinks, clients usually choose from drop in, under counter, or vessel styles. Any of these can be chosen depending on your personal style preferences. You can also choose what style of finish you would like, as many people prefer the smooth finish over the hammered or vice versa. Working with an expert can help you get the style and finish of your choosing; the possibilities are endless!

pros of farmhouse sinks 

Are copper sinks customizable?

Copper sinks are often made by hand, which means that an artist can likely make any vision you have come to life. As all of our lifestyles are different, our preferences are different as well. If you have many children running around or love to cook, you may choose a different, more durable finish for your sink such as the hammered style. There are also various color finishes that you can choose based on your personal style. Whatever your vision may be, there is likely a company or artist who can bring it to life and craft the perfect copper sink for your space.

handcrafted sinks

These factors are clear indicators of why copper sinks have outlasted centuries and remain popular in both modern and traditional homes today. Copper sinks are an incredible addition to the aesthetics, style, and efficiency of your home. They are quite customizable and facilitate a great resale value of your home, making them an incredible investment.

They’re unique

If you’re looking to add that special touch to your kitchen, then a copper farmhouse sink is what you’re looking for. It’s unlikely you’ve seen something like this in someone else’s kitchen. They’re bold, they’re unique, and they can look great in the right kitchen. While they do take more work to maintain, they’re worth it if you’re looking to turn your kitchen into something special and unique to you.

The kitchen sink isn’t always what you have in mind when it comes to creating a unique kitchen. Sinks tend to be functional first, and appearance second - but a copper farmhouse sink does both. It’s more functional than other sinks, and it does a lot for the appeal of your kitchen. The unique installation is what sets the copper farmhouse sink apart from the rest, and it can make for a great centerpiece for your kitchen.

The copper look, while unique and rare - is timeless and can fit in almost any kitchen if it fits the color scheme. Copper matches with a lot of darker tones, so if your kitchen can incorporate that, then the sink should fit right in effortlessly. 

custom copper farmhouse sink

It’s better for the environment

Something that you may not have considered for your sink installation is how it impacts the environment. You should know that copper is 100% recyclable, which means that when you’re done with your copper sink, it can be recycled and reused without issue. While it’s likely not a priority for a long-term fixture like a sink - especially one as durable as the copper farmhouse sink, it is still important to consider. 

Are Copper Farmhouse Sinks a Bad Idea?

cons of copper farmhouse sinks

When you are considering investing in a farmhouse copper sinks, you will also want to consider potential fallbacks and how they can be addressed. Primary concerns are the changing color of the patina, the initial setup cost of the sink, and space considerations. However, with proper research and understanding, you can see how to overcome these potential challenges to experience all of the benefits of a copper farmhouse sink. Investment cost is a concern for many buyers, but you can learn how the initial cost will be offset over time by low maintenance costs and increased home value.

Do copper sinks turn green?

do copper sinks turn green?

According to experts, patina is the layer of corrosion that can develop on the surface of copper when it is exposed to the elements. This leads to the changing color of copper and rustic look that home designers often go for. However, the changing color can come as a surprise if you are not aware of the properties of copper. If you are going to purchase a copper sink, you’ll want to consider the finish as well as a seal to protect the color if you are concerned about the color changing. You can use a wax periodically to maintain the color and prevent the patina. To maintain color, you can also clean the sink regularly with simple soap and warm water, and you will want to avoid leaving dirty dishes or acidic foods and chemicals in the sink for extended periods of time. This should prevent the patina and any staining that could occur. However, many people love the changing color properties of copper, and find that it adds to the rustic farmhouse feel. However, to prevent any surprises, it is good to understand how patina works.

You can’t install it on your own

You might think that you’re going to save money with this installation by handling it yourself, but you should think again. It’s not the same as any regular sink, and you should consider that it’s far too complicated to install for someone who isn’t a professional plumber. This is something that you shouldn’t try to DIY, as you risk leaks and damaging your pipes.

It’s not just about the experience necessary to install the sink, but special tools that you likely don’t have access to. While paying for a professional installation might be costly, it will be much cheaper than having to invest in all of the tools yourself, and then risking damaging your plumbing as a result. 

Frequent maintenance

Something that may put off new owners is that copper sinks require quite a lot of maintenance in comparison to other sinks. While it’s not that difficult to maintain a copper sink, it does take some time to keep it in the best condition. It’s not just the work that you have to consider, but the products that you need to use while maintaining it. Just like any other sink, you would have to clean it regularly, but there’s more to it than that.

Instead of using abrasive cleaners, you’ll want to opt into using other products that won’t damage the finish of your copper sink. You’ll also want to avoid using scouring pads that are safe to use in other sinks, as they can easily scratch the surface of your copper. Copper cleaning solutions should be effective enough, but they’re not as easily accessible as more common kitchen cleaning products that you might expect to find in any grocery store near you.

What is the best gauge for a copper sink?

The thickness of copper (gauge) is also an important part of understanding how your copper sink will age over time. The thinner the material, the more likely it is to dent and produce the hollow sound as the water runs. Because copper is a soft metal, the gauge of the material used in your piece will determine how well it wears, especially if it is going to be subject to frequent banging from hard pans or many dishes. When you are speaking with companies about gauge, understand gauge as the thickness of the material; the number will be lower with increasing thickness. A lighter sink will dent more easily and can sometimes give off a drumming sound when the water is running while a thicker gauge sink is more expensive but is also more durable. While this may prove to be a larger upfront cost, it is well worth it making sure that your sink lasts forever and does not require any costly repairs. At the end of the day, go with a 14 gauge copper sink, not a 16 or 18 gauge!

How much does a copper sink cost?

Copper sinks can have quite expensive upfront costs when you consider both purchasing and installation costs. However, copper sinks are proven to be wonderful investments as they instantly add style and elegance to any space and increase resale value. Choosing to invest in a higher gauge copper sink is also a big investment, but it will pay off as you will be able to avoid the costly repairs that often arise with choosing a lower cost model.

Choosing a higher gauge also prevents denting from heavy pots and pans and any drumming noise from running water that you’d want to avoid. Once the sink is installed, maintenance costs should be quite low, as soap and warm water are often all that you will need to clean the sink regularly to keep it in pristine condition. Thus, the initial investment is sure to pay off as you get years of beautiful use and wear on your copper sink.

How much space do you have in your kitchen?

Part of what makes copper sinks so eye catching is their traditionally large size. Copper sinks can take up a sizable amount of room, especially in the kitchen. So, if your kitchen space is limited they may not be the perfect option. However, copper sinks can easily be crafted to fit any style and size of bathroom, where they also add elegance and value to the space. There are companies and designers who can help you decide the perfect shape, mounting, and finish of a sink that can fit into any space, so do not count a copper sink out of the question solely due to size constraints.

A farmhouse sink will cost slightly more to install.

One of the predominant complaints that farmhouse sink owners have is that the sinks can be quite difficult to install and it can be expensive to have a company come do it for you. It is also a bit more expensive to have a copper stink installed than it is to have a different kind of sink. Installing the sink on your own is a daunting task, and it is probably best to leave installation up to the experts, even though it can be costly. This will make sure that you only have to do it once and it is done properly to prevent malfunctions in the future. Installation costs can just be thought of as another investment cost you’re undertaking to improve the value of your home. Drop in sinks are quite easy to install, but undermount and farmhouse sinks require a little more technique and should be left in the hands of a company.

You can expect natural variations in the color.

Because of the various properties of the copper metal, the color can go through a period of an unbalanced appearance before the material settles into a patina and more consistent color. In some instances you will have to wait for the patina to develop with time, although there are sealants and waxes that you can apply to make sure that the sink doesn’t change color or wear as quickly if you do not want it to. However, some homeowners choose to let the sink go through its natural process, as it produces a quite beautiful finish that adds a rustic farmhouse touch to any room. If you are particularly concerned with the aesthetics, you can go with a living finish on the sink basin, with a sealed finish on the front apron.

With full consideration to these pros and cons, a copper farmhouse sink is an undeniably strong investment into your home. From an aesthetic standpoint, the copper farmhouse sink fits beautifully into both modern and traditional spaces, which has made it increasingly popular among interior designers today. From an efficiency standpoint, these sinks are large and durable, making your cooking, cleaning, and bathroom processes more streamlined, especially if you have a large family or love spending time cooking elaborate meals. From a financial standpoint, while these sinks can have large upfront costs, they are amazing investments in the resale value of your home. Home buyers are increasingly searching for properties with rustic or farmhouse properties. The sinks are also easily cleaned with soap and water, and will last a long time as long as you show them proper care. With good care, the sink can serve you well for years and even decades. We hope reading our detailed pros and cons of copper farmhouse sinks have cleared up any of your concerns.

sink copper patina colors

Planning your sink installation

No one wants to invest in an expensive new fixture only to find out that it doesn’t fit right. Or just as bad, you’re stuck on what to order because you’re not sure how to measure it outright. Planning things in your head is always risky, even if you’ve got the measurements written down - it’s a lot to think about. When it comes to the unique design of a farmhouse sink, you want to make sure it’s all going to turn out perfectly. So how can you go about planning things out more accurately without the risk?

farmhouse sink installation

Thanks to the custom metalwork 3-D Configurator, you can get your planning down on the screen, showing you exactly how things are going to look once installed. By doing this, you remove the risk of misplacing your expectations. Your copper farmhouse kitchen sink can be installed exactly how you want it to be. Once you know what you want, you can get in touch for a quote, or to ask any related questions. You’re just one phone call away from a professional.

If you’d like to speak with us further, drop us an email or give us a call! We’d love to chat with you.

August 22, 2014